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Vaccinations FAQ

Vaccination FAQ From Your Reistertown Veterinarian

Pet owners frequently have questions about pet vaccination. At TLC For Pets in Reisterstown, we do our best to ensure that pet owners understand what pet vaccines are and why they are important. The more you know about vaccines, the better. Keeping yourself educated about vaccines can help you take care of your pet. 


What is a vaccination?

A vaccination is an injection of a substance that stimulates the immune system and results in the development of antibodies.

Why are vaccines important?

Vaccines help pets develop resistance to specific diseases. Vaccinations also boost the immune system, which can help pets fight off infections generally. In addition, the rabies vaccine is required for pet licensure. 

What kind of pets should be vaccinated?

If you are a dog or a cat owner, you should have your pet vaccinated. It's best to start the vaccination schedule when your pet is a kitten or puppy. 

When should your pet get his or her first vaccine?

Most pets receive their first vaccination when they are about 6 to 8 weeks old. For kittens, this first vaccine protects against Rhinotracheitis, Panleukopenia and Calicivirus. For puppies, the first vaccine will protect your pet from distemper, measles and parainfluenza.  

How often do pets need to be vaccinated?

In the first year, your animal friend will be vaccinated several times in the first six months. After one year of age, your pet may need booster shots on an annual basis. Your pet's veterinarian will help you decide when your pet should be vaccinated.  

What is the difference between core and non-core vaccination?

Core vaccines are given to all pets to protect them against common diseases. Non-core vaccines are only given to pets who are at special risk for certain diseases, either because of lifestyle factors, health factors or genetic factors. At TLC For Pets, we administer core and non-core vaccines to pets. 

How can you tell whether or not your pet needs any non-core vaccinations?

Your pet's veterinarian will help you decide whether or not non-core vaccines are right for your pet. If it's determined that your pet can benefit from non-core vaccines, your pet's veterinarian will tell you which ones and when the shot should be administered. 

Are there any negative side effects of vaccinations?

Many pets who are given vaccines will experience mild negative side effects. Common side effects of vaccination include:

  • Pain and tenderness at the site of the injection
  • Mild swelling
  • Mild fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability

These side effects should go away within about 24 hours after the vaccine is administered to your pet. 

Do pets ever experience more serious side effects?

In very rare cases, pets will experience more serious side effects such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Swelling of the airway, muzzle, neck and eyes
  • Loss of consciousness

If this happens, your pet should see the veterinarian as soon as possible; call your pet's veterinary office right away.

Where can you go for safe pet vaccination in Reisterstown?

If you have a pet in Reisterstown or in the surrounding area, you can bring your pet in for vaccination at TLC For Pets. Our veterinary experts can help you decide which vaccinations are right for your pet's needs, when your pet's vaccinations need to be administered and what else needs to be done to protect your pet from common illnesses and diseases. To make an appointment for your pet's upcoming vaccinations, or to find out more information about pet vaccines, call us at (410) 833-1717.